Delta Survey

A British Academy Research Project

Information on the archaeological sites of the Delta is presented here in the form web-pages containing an alphabetical listing of sites. Where a substantial amount of information is available, or photographs of the site exist, links are provided to supplementary pages. The site-names in most cases are those of the Survey of Egypt maps. The material is offered as a source of reference and a tool for the planning of new projects.  The letters 'T' and 'K' in the lists stand for 'Tell' and 'Kom' respectively, Arabic words for 'mound', describing the usual appearance of archaeological sites in the region.

We would recommend viewing this area of the website on a desktop computer. 

You may also be interested to visit the separate Western Delta Regional Survey on Durham University's website here: 

Shown without name on ESA 1996 map at Ez. er-Rifi. Visited 1990 by J and P Spencer. All remains seen were Roman: ARS and ERS sherds and red coarsewares; the sherd cover and the fragments of fired bricks give a very red appearance to the mound. The edges of the tell have been dug for sebakh and turned over. Granite millstone on S side.

Mapped by P Wilson for the Delta Survey in 2002, who reported:

This tell is smaller altogether than Tell Qabrit being 460m by 320m in size and reaching a height of around 8m to the highest point from the surrounding ground surface. The general shape and appearance of the site suggest that it has been cleared away from the east and west  towards the central area, which was left standing as an elevated ridge. The sides of this ridge showed a number of pits of about 1.5 to 2m in depth and smaller diggings with sacks left at the site, indicating that limited removal of sebakh or pottery for use in brick making or building is continuing. The holes left by the digging gave an opportunity to look at the stratigraphy of the site. There was pottery in the sections but not in dense concentrations. There did not seem to obvious brick features and no signs of burning were noted. The lack of structures uncovered in these diggings suggests that the archaeological strata of the site have been too extensively disturbed, at least at the present surface level, to be able to determine whether there are any building features, although no doubt these could be found at greater depth. There are considerable quantities of red brick at Amya, together with patches of grey mud brick, but individual structures cannot be detected by surface survey alone. The pottery from the site is similar to that at Tell Qabrit (No. 233), with similar African Red Slip and Egyptian imitation wares, pottery with cream and brown paint stylised plant decoration, imported amphorae and a number of Nile silt ware bowls or basins with either ribbing or pie-crust rims. There is also a good quantity of glass at the site, but, in contrast to Qabrit there is not the same amount of kiln or vitreous slag. A number of corroded bronze coins were found on the surface, varying in their state of preservation and ranging from about 0.5 cm in diameter to 2cm. One large fragment of red granite had been uncovered by the sebakh diggers. It seems to be an unfInished grindstone, still with roughly cut surfaces. No surface traces of buildings are visible. Amya has less obvious archaeological potential than Qabrit but it clearly forms one of a series of Copto-Byzantine sites in this area at which occupation may have ended around the same time. The fact that they form an east west line, maybe aligning with sites in a north-south formation towards Lake Burullus may indicate a road or river channel system, now lost. A further regional study may suggest reasons for the existence of the sites in the fIrst place and then for their subsequent abandonment, destruction and demise, with people moving off into other newer towns along the Rosetta Branch of the Nile in the medieval period.

Photographs taken January 1990 by Patricia & Jeffrey Spencer


The central high mound with adjacent low area where sebakh has been removed